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Is highlighting text a good way of studying

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You must have heard your teachers and parents asking you to highlight important paragraphs and sentences so that you can take a glance at them before your exams and this way it will be easier to recall the core theme of a chapter/topic. Many of us have used this technique and swear by the credibility of the same. I, find this method very efficient and time-saving. One day before the exams it is not possible for students to read the entire chapter, as the time is limited. Therefore a little bit of extra effort at the time of first reading can prove to be helpful at the time of exams. Today, I have researched and found the significance of highlighting main points that will do wonders for you during a critical period of examinations. However, highlighting helps when you have your notes, as highlighting can be of help only when you have good notes to support it. The points that have been mentioned below definitely describes the significance of highlighting, but at the same time I would like to tell you that highlighting is nothing, but an icing on the cake, while the cake is still made of hard work, regular studies and taking down notes.


  • Highlighting is an art, and not many people know this art. Sometimes, while highlighting you may have realized that you have underlined the whole paragraph. However, highlighting doesn’t mean underscoring each and every sentence, rather the most important words and phrases should be emphasized to make it useful.
  • Revising with highlighted text is a significant step, as it helps you to retain the relevant phrases in your mind while writing the paper. You can also use this technique on your written notes and point out great catchphrases that may help you impress the examiner. While checking the papers, most of the examiners look forward to checking the students’ aptitude and do not appreciate the bookish You may use the catchphrases that you have underlined to leave an impact on the assessor.
  • Make notes based upon the highlighted text, as it helps you develop your cognitive skills and the notes you make will help you understand the topic in a better way. Do not rely entirely upon the language given in the textbooks, but try and pen down your expressions. It is a good idea and will help you even in the later stages of your life and career.
  • Highlighting saves time. Underlining helps the students to look over the study material a day or two before the examination. Highlighting undoubtedly helps you in the hour of anxiety¸ as the earlier efforts you put in, allow you to stay calm and appear confident while taking the exams.
  • Underlining makes you more thoughtful, in every way as you are encouraged to use your intellect. Once you feel the urge to create a story around the text that you have highlighted, it will increase your concentration power and let you learn the skill of brainstorming.

Despite the above advantages, the researchers say that underlining text while studying is not a sure-shot formula to success and they have come up with mixed results. Some scholars appreciate highlighting, while others say this technique is not as useful as it claims to be. However, I feel that every student has its way of learning and grasping and a study conducted by Carole L. Yue , Benjamin C. Storm, Nate Kornell and Elizabeth Ligon Bjork which was published by University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA in 2014 suggests that under some circumstances, highlighting can be a constructive study strategy for learning and argue for learners being trained in how to improve the potential benefits of their highlighting manners. One need only to look through used texts to see that text-marking, either by underlining or highlighting, is a pervasive practice among learners, with many considering that marking script will help them reminisce the selected facts better or make a later reading session more productive. Whether text-marking essentially does benefit later recall, however, is contentious: Several studies have shown a significant benefit for underlined or highlighted text whereas others have not.

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